November 18, 2020

Direct Mail The Channel for Today

Direct Mail has come to the fore as a key part of the marketing mix during the Covid pandemic and its importance is set to grow. As we continue to spend more time at home, its ability to reach and engage audiences, offers huge potential for marketers.

This is not just because mail provides tangibility in an increasingly saturated digital world. It’s also because of its special place in people’s hearts. In a time that can feel transient and fast-moving, printed mail communication literally offers something to hold on to.

Direct Mail, a Trusted and Valued Medium

As a trusted and valued medium, direct mail can drive behaviour both in terms of immediate response and also in terms of cut-through and the longer-term reinforcement of key messages. 50% of respondents to a recent Royal Mail survey * acknowledged the usefulness of mail – as a reminder to do something – whilst 85% reported paying as much or more attention to mail during lockdown.

A lot of us have had to spend a lot of time at  home recently. It’s forced us to re-evaluate; to focus on what’s really important to us. We’re back at home and the value of  a home is back.

Establishing Routines

During lockdown, people like to find some kind of routine. Getting dressed for work (at least from the waist up), maintaining regular meal times and taking time to exercise have all helped people keep hold of reality. Direct Mail is part of this routine. People have their own rituals about processing their post, but our research has highlighted the widespread appreciation for the rhythm of the postie’s arrival and the reassuring thump of the mail onto the floor.

Switching Off

Suddenly having to work, study and connect to people from home has compounded the intensity of the pandemic for many. And there is evidence that there has been a reaction against living our lives through a device, a trend that pre-dates the pandemic.

The research mentioned above also shows that while too many messages from computers and phones can feel invasive and stressful, physical mail is often welcomed into the home like a good friend.

What arrives on the doormat is also inherently trusted. It feels as though a person has thought about it and invested time, effort and money in getting their message across. “It must be worth reading” was a common sentiment among respondents.

Thinking Long-Term

It’s often too easy to focus on the allure of short-term ROI and efficiency rather than the potential greater profit that could be achieved by focusing
on longer-term effectiveness. But effectiveness is where direct mail can really deliver. Business decision makers from MarketReach’s research recognise the value of using mail and intend to increase spend in the future. Download the full report here:

https://www.marketreach.co.uk/mail-matters-more-than-ever-s

September 4, 2020

Data Decoded: Using Customer Data for a Better Marketing Campaign

The digital landscape has caused a shift in how marketing strategies are developed. Different platforms and communication channels provide businesses with unparalleled access to customer data. Now, you can determine your target audience’s demographics and preferences, making it easier to create personalised marketing campaigns. But several businesses still struggle to understand the importance of their data.

Realise your full potential online by decoding your customer database. Professional data management services in the UK provide you with the insights and ability to analyse customer data. By gaining a better understanding of what you have, you can develop effective marketing campaigns.

Different Types of Customer Data

These days, almost every aspect of your customers’ lives can be translated into data. When processed and analysed correctly, you gain valuable insights into what they need and want from your business.

  • Identity Data: The information here is related to a specific customer. Identity data often includes their name, home address, contact number and other types of personal information. This gives you insight into who your customer is and how you can reach them.
  • Descriptive Data: The information here is related to your existing customers’ habits and intent. Descriptive data includes details about their profession, lifestyle choices and information about their family. This gives you a clearer picture of who your target audience is.
  • Behavioural Data: The information here is related to your existing customers’ behaviour towards your business, specifically how they interact with it online and in the real world. It includes customer experience (in-store and on calls), the web pages they’ve visited, the emails they’ve opened and responded to and even the CTAs they clicked on.
  • Qualitative Data: The information here is related to the information that you gather through surveys. This includes information from potential and existing customers. With access to their preferences, sentiments, and motivations, you gain a better understanding of their interest in your business.

How to Use Different Types of Customer Data

Once you’ve identified the different types of data available to you, you may use them to improve marketing campaigns.

Identity Data for Personalised Communications

Build detailed buyer personas for your business. By creating the “average” customer identity, you determine how you can best reach them. Younger personas will likely respond better to digital and online marketing efforts. Developing a communication strategy based on this allows you to improve engagement with your target audience.

Descriptive and Behavioural Data for Customer Segmentation

Categorise your customers based on the data you have. This gives you an idea of where they are in their customer journey. Use this segmentation to develop targeted marketing campaigns that aim to provide them with what they need. When done correctly, you can effectively improve conversion rates for your business.

Qualitative Data for Research and Development

Identify pain points easily about your products and services. Use surveys and questionnaires to get feedback on your business. With this information, you may improve existing products and services while developing new offerings. Additionally, you can use these data-gathering activities to determine why customers choose your business over competitors.

Make the most of your customer database by understanding how to leverage it for better marketing campaigns. Romax provides expert customer data management services that are beneficial to your processes. Talk to our team to find out more.

October 23, 2017

5 ways to save money in your direct marketing communication

Written by Nilda Cerna, Marketing Manager at Romax Marketing & Distribution.

It’s a fact that printed communication is back and it’s necessary for every marketing strategy. However, most of the digital marketers are worried about the price of printing and postage and how to measure direct mail campaign success.

At Romax we have talked a lot about the impact that printed communication has on brand recognition, sales, and campaign ROI both, individually and as part of the overall campaign. We haven’t mentioned how to reduce the cost of direct mail whilst retaining the quality of the product and service.

Different strategies help you to save money in your direct marketing, and most of them aren’t related to the quality of the material or printing process. Here you have 5 ways to save money in your direct marketing communication:

1. Less is more

There are lots of direct mail options such as letters, postcards, catalogues, leaflets, magazines and personalised one-piece mailer formats. You can save money just by switching your actual direct mail format for an option that reduces the size, weight or any other component.

For instance, you can reduce the size of your communication to fit in a letter category instead of a large letter; this will save you a lot of money without changing any message in your mail piece. Check out the Sadler’s Wells case study with £7,500 saved in postage from one season campaign – £30K annually. Furthermore, if you reduce the length of your communication, and send a roll-fold A4 instead of a twenty-page catalogue or magazine, you’ll save both printing and postage.

2. Booking in advance

Booking your direct mail job with a direct marketing supplier in advance also gives you a pool of benefits, not just related to saving money. You can secure your print production and delivery which will bring you peace of mind, you’ll have enough time for design and text amends and copy proof, and of course, you’ll avoid extra charges relate to increases in the price of paper, postage and other components which are the variable component of the direct mail equation.

Did I mention that some companies charge for the last-minute booking or for moving your job along the schedule? That’s the same as being charged all your money for buying the last can of coke in the desert!

3. Cleaning data

Did you know that 1.2 million people move house each year and national change of address file contains 24 million records? Moreover, the estimates suggest that 170,000 mailings are sent every day to the deceased.

You can avoid the cost of printing, postage and response management of those records who have passed away or have changed their address, by cleaning your database. Furthermore, you can also avoid a customer lost through annoyance if you keep their records accurate. Direct Marketing suppliers, such as Romax, offer you data management and response services, to reduce this waste of money.

4. Targeting your campaign – profiling

Should you send the same piece of direct mail to all your clients or prospects, or only who is more likely to buy? Within your data, you should have your client profiles, which may include gender, age, marital status, family lifestyle, personal income model, etc. This can help you to create a targeted direct marketing communication, for example, you can send a brochure to your customer who has a high-value history, and the rest send them an informative letter or postcard.

5. Save postage costs with a Direct Marketing company – £13,000 annually

It’s not the same postage cost when sending twenty welcome packs a day, compared with a mailing house who send out thousands of welcome packs per day. Volume is something that always reduces the price of your postage and delivery. You can benefit with your shared access to high volume mail, or any other communication. Thanks to a global direct marketing supplier, you will achieve a discount also. The amount of saving is variable depending on the volume, size of the letter or parcel, destination, etc.

At Romax we work with all sizes of organisations to help them save money on postage when you print with us and use our mailing house services. For instance, we work with one of the largest museums in London, who saved more than £13,000 annually in postage just from their printed membership communications.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. 

Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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July 6, 2017

Is the Direct Mail Sector in trouble?

Is the Direct Mail Sector in trouble?

Whether the Direct Mail Sector is in trouble, is much debated within our industry, both by outside commentators, and those that make their living within it. Whilst I agree it is difficult for me to be subjective let’s take a dive into the facts and try to form an educated opinion.

Firstly, what do we mean by “in trouble”? Yes, there have been some notable casualties of late with the latest being the Anton group going into administration. Having had conversations with those within the industry, yes this was unexpected, however, the full facts of management decisions are yet to come to light and will, I suspect, yield some answers. Sadly, as at the time of writing this piece, the administrators were winding the company up with creditors losing everything they were owed.

Are we “in trouble” because of outside factors beyond our control? To a certain extent yes as we have little sway on paper or postage price increases for example. Allied to the raising of costs (such as the increase in minimum wage and pension arrangements) means that the Direct Mail sector does become more and more expensive compared to online channels such as email and therefore margins are squeezed.

Online communications also have one big advantage – instant analytics!

Size is a factor in the recent downfall of some businesses such as the Anton Group. Small to medium size businesses are more agile both in reacting to demand, as well as diversifying into other areas of communication such as online communications and e-publishing. Consolidation will be a big topic over the coming months and years. The trend will, we believe, go from the bigger companies snapping up smaller rivals to similar size companies joining forces in mergers and acquisitions.

Create the insight and fight the pessimism

However, with insight, it is possible to fight back against this wave of pessimism.

Direct Mail has had an issue for a number of years with people’s perception of how the environment is affected by the industry. However, the good folks over at Two Sides have debunked that argument of which we should shout louder about.

Further optimism comes in the form of data taken from some MarketReach analysis. For Marketers, the highlight finding is that 92% of mail recipients will act on what they consume from the mail medium. Further good news only goes to highlight the upward trend in the sector.

And lastly. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We see an opportunity for the Direct Mail Sector with the advent in May 2018 of the new data laws covered by GDPR. If you are unfamiliar with these new laws, some of the best information can be found at the DMA website. This will restrict the way, in particular, digital marketing is conducted and the use of personal data. At the very least those operating digital communications will need to gain or regain more specific permissions from their customer, via a printed communication, so they can continue to engage with them. This presents Direct Mail suppliers the chance to capture more volume of work.

Plan and invest to reap the benefits

The old saying “fail to plan, plan to fail” is never truer than in business. Writing a business plan has some benefits including:

  • forces you to think realistically, objectively and unemotionally about your business
  • leads to questioning of past and future assumptions
  • makes it easier to communicate planning objectives and strategies to bankers, partners, employees, financial backers and so on
  • helps to ensure that all aspects of the plan are clear and integrated
  • serves as a reference point when determining the effects of alternative courses of action on business operations
  • allows you to identify any areas where you may need external assistance
  • allows you to plan the growth of your business and associated capital requirements.

Many companies fail to write one yet the above benefits make it clear to do so would help! You can find many templates and resources on the Web to get you started.

From having a clear strategy, a business can then invest wisely, therefore, making the business more profitable and attractive to new clients. However, with big investments never underestimate the length of deployment or day to day distraction this could involve so ensure you account for this in your plan.

So in conclusion, with the right plan and foresight, along with, crucially the right staff, things look good for the Direct Mail industry.

The blog post was written by Wesley Dowding.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy.

Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550 or filling the form below:

January 20, 2016

Finishing – Don’t fall at the final hurdle!

Finishing – Don’t fall at the final hurdle!

 

Being in the print industry, I genuinely love print; the feel, the look (not so much the smell) and the enthusiasm I feel when seeing the final product. So much energy and time is spent by marketing professionals, designers and the printers themselves to produce the finest printed product, it is a real shame when having done so much that a piece of print is although good quality, does not give of added WOW!

This bug bear of mine, is seeing a beautifully printed item that is let down by the poor quality of the finish.

In my opinion, the finishing of the product is just as or more important than the printing.

What options are there for finishing?

There are so many techniques to enhance your print. They will all  make a positive impact and leave the recipient recognising the quality that relates to your brand.

I have listed a few below:

 

  • Innovative folding types, Cross fold, concertina fold, roll fold, not just a standard fold.
  • Glue dots or glue seals to seal down a one piece mailer.
  • Matt lamination, gloss lamination, UV varnish, embossing, foiling.
  • Die cutting, this is the ‘shape punching’ to trim out unique shapes.
  • Perfect binding (square Edge) stitching ( centre stapling), wiro-banding.

When creating a concept of a printed piece, the final look, feel and finish should be vital.

Investment in technology now means more options are readily available at competitive costs. Many finishing techniques can now be managed in-house with quicker turnarounds than in past.

Branding is key to any organisation, without it you lose your identity and simply disappear into the back ground.

So please, next time you are discussing / designing your next piece of print, research all print finishing techniques available and add a little glitz!

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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January 22, 2015

Virtual Board Meeting Romax

Better a virtual board meeting than no meeting at all!

There’s nothing better than a face to face meeting, the shake of a hand and the sharing of ideas is best done in person. However sometimes time constraints or unforeseen situations arise what used to mean a postponement. That was in the past – before the investment in our IT Structure! Now by using our new technology there is no barrier to a successful meeting.

MS    WD   RS

Case in point today, our monthly scheduled board meeting could not be attended in person by all. However, Wes Dowding, our Operations and Technology Director, simply said – “no problem, we simply link through our office 365 portal, have a video conference and share screens with each other to share documents as necessary”. So that’s what we did!

The ease and productivity of the meeting was not effected and there was a time saving as travel was avoided, releasing more time for other things (like sharing this information in a blog!).

The only negatives were that Wes received excellent tea service from the Client Services Team, whilst Margaret and Robin had to fend for themselves, and that the headsets don’t suit everyone!

Board Meeting

Watch out for further communications from Romax. We specialise in data driven digital print and marketing, but we operate with a modern and proactive outlook. For more information call 020 8293 8550 or email hello@romax.co.uk

August 4, 2014

Can marketing automation software systems improve DM results?

How marketing automation software can be used to improve DM results

 

The emergence of marketing automation systems has added a new dimension to companies’ direct marketing campaigns. The evidence suggests that these systems are effective in improving the monitoring of results from campaigns and better targeting precious marketing resources.

According to the 2013 Lenskold Group/Pedowitz Group Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study, companies that use automated marketing tools are more effective than those that do not. This is due to the fact that these companies are taking a more rigorous approach to measuring the results of their campaigns than their less effective peers. The marketing automation software simply helps to make gathering usefully detailed results quicker and easier, which explains the greater take up of such software amongst more effective companies.

Automated systems that are integrated with customer relationship management systems are used by four out of five of the “top tier” marketing firms that responded to the Lenskold/Pedowitz survey. Out of the total respondents to the survey only 13% had automated tools integrated into their systems.

One of the important activities that automation makes easier is testing the effectiveness of direct messaging campaigns. Software can be used to analyse the effectiveness of a campaign in generating leads with a group compared to a control group who were subjected to a different campaign. It also makes it easier to draw out the relative value of customers generated by the respective campaigns.

Another use for automation is to produce reports that show the revenue generated from leads who responded to a particular campaign.

Sophisticated techniques can be employed to gather more reliable data about the effectiveness of marketing spend. These can include setting up control groups that are not exposed to a particular aspect of your marketing activity, so that a comparison can be made with those that are. In this way it is easier to identify which aspects of a campaign are under-performing and need to be modified or dropped altogether.

Ultimately the goal of gathering data regarding the effectiveness of marketing activity is to improve your approach for the future. This requires the data to be presented in an understandable format for managers. Automation tools provide a neat way of presenting data in readily digestible formats so that the information can be acted upon.

By slowing down and taking a good look at how your marketing spend is actually affecting the market segments that you are targeting, you will improve the effectiveness of your direct marketing approach. Automation helps with this, which in turn will help make your business more profitable.

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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